CHICO, Calif. - The Chico Police Department is addressing some people’s concerns of increasingly slower response times.
Commander Billy Aldridge says if they don’t come out or take a long time it’s not because they don’t want to, it’s simply because they just may not be able to.
They have a priority system for calls, and they won't go to a lower priority call until all of the higher priority ones have been taken care of.
The calls are prioritized 1-4. Priority-1 calls are what they call "hot calls," an in-progress crime of some sort, where they drop everything and have to get there immediately, something like a bank robbery or someone being assaulted.
Priority-2 crimes are ones that just happened and they need to get there as soon as possible, but not necessarily immediately.
“Like a shoplifting where the business has someone detained and they want us to come out and cite them for the shoplifting,” he said.
Priority-3 calls are less severe, and will often wait for several hours until all of the Priority-1 and 2 calls have been taken care of.
“When you compare a low-level crime of vandalism where there's no one injured versus, let's say, a bank robbery, you can see the difference between the two and why one would have to wait.”
And then there are Priority-4 crimes, which may end up waiting for a day. These are things like cold thefts or fraud, where people have surveillance videos of things happening, and those are usually the ones they get complaints about response time.
He said they are working to bring the department back to full staff, and in the recent years, as staff numbers have gone down, their call volume has gone up.
“If you were to look at it on a graph, you have call volume going up, staffing levels going down, so that gap just keeps getting bigger, and that gap is response times.”
Aldridge said they are coming out with a new scheduling model for the summer that will hopefully reduce response time.
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